The proper operation of the buses is detailed in their vehicle operation manual. All persons must be completely familiar with these publications and operate the vehicles in accordance with its directions unless otherwise directed during training or by statements in the Transit SOPs.
- Transmission Shifting:
- During normal driving conditions the shifter is to be placed in “D” and left there. During acceleration no increase in performance can be achieved by manually shifting the transmission.
- The transmission can be used to limit top speed while descending a hill or to prevent it from “hunting” between gears. Shifting to a lower gear should be done before descending a hill.
- The transmission must never be shifted into a lower gear if the road speed exceeds the maximum speed for that lower gear as directed in the operating manual.
- Door Controls:
- Under normal driving conditions the RED EMERGENCY valve should not be operated.
- If you encounter any problems with the door’s operation, contact the Supervisor on duty, or the Fleet Foreman for instructions, and write it on the VIR.
- Windshield Wipers:
- The wipers should only be operated when required.
- Under no conditions should they be left operating while the vehicle is parked or when the windshield is dry. This practice causes premature wear and damage to the mechanism.
- Leaving Unattended buses:
- Federal law states that whenever a bus is left unattended, the parking brake must be engaged, the engine turned off and the key removed (when present) unless directed otherwise. Before shutting off any bus allow enough time for the turbo to cool down.
- Draining air tanks:
- Every bus is to have the air tank drained and the batteries turned off when it is parked at the end of the shift.
- Operators must be familiar with and observe Federal and Colorado Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Codes, local regulations, the city employee handbook, and the SOPs.
- Operators are responsible for maintaining their Commercial Driver’s License and DOT physical card. Any change in status on your license must be reported to the Transit Office within 3 days and in writing.
- Two hands are required to be on the steering wheel at all times while driving the bus, unless you are completing another required task, i.e. announcing stops, or counting passengers.
- Eating and drinking on the bus should not be done while driving, this is a distraction and prohibits you from having two hands on the wheel at all times. Drinks and food should be in a secured location to prevent spilling.
- Wear your seat belt! It is lifesaving, Colorado law and City Policy. The seat belt must be work to manufacture’s specifications. If the shoulder belt cannot be separated from the lap belt, you must wear the shoulder belt as intended
- Headlights are to be on at all times.
- Any action that distracts the bus driver’s attention or interferes with performance of normal duties in the bus is prohibited. Alcohol or illegal drug use while driving will not be tolerated and will be grounds for immediate dismissal. Drivers must provide documentation that they spoke to their doctor about the nature of their job when receiving prescription medication.
- Bus drivers shall not move the bus unless all doors are closed, and until all children, disabled, and the elderly have been seated.
- Start and stop your bus gently. Respect your equipment; you will depend on it someday to save your life and the lives of your passengers.
- Curbs and soft shoulders are not to be driven on. Keep off edges of asphalt except when pulling in and out of service stops.
- Backing buses will be done only when absolutely necessary. You must radio a Supervisor for permission prior to backing a vehicle. A guide outside the bus will be used, if possible.
- The parking brake will be set any time the bus driver is out of his or her seat, bikes are being loaded, or the operator is making an in street stop.
- Drivers are not permitted to drive off the approved route listed on the schedule. All routes will be followed at all times as shown on the schedule. The only exception to this will be Supervisor directed detours due to construction, fire or Police Department action or a one-time situation at the Supervisor’s discretion. Drivers must call in before beginning the detour or as soon as they realize they are off route.
- If a bus driver is unable to follow the correct route because of a detour, the driver will return to the original route as quickly as possible. The driver will radio or phone the Supervisor, prior to executing the detour, and report the necessary information so the Supervisor can investigate and set up a standard detour for all operators to follow as long as necessary. The Supervisor will then notify all operators of the detour they are to follow
- Trade-out vehicles with safety related defects as soon as possible. Vehicles are permitted to return to base, off route, if no one is at base to help.